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BrumHour was invited to see Gaslight by The Alexandra.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This play contains scenes of domestic violence.
Gaslight at The Alexandra
Directed by Lucy Bailey, written by Patrick Hamilton
Patrick Hamilton’s famous 1938 drama Gaslight is at The Alexandra until Saturday 5th October.
Is Bella (Charlotte Emmerson) going mad? Her husband Jack (James Wilby) certainly seems to think she is. A picture on the wall has moved and paperwork has vanished, Jack says Bella is to blame but she has no memory of doing either of these things.
Later that day, Jack has left the house and a stranger called Rough (Martin Shaw) appears at the door, household cook Elizabeth (Mary Chater) lets him in. Rough tells Bella that everything she knows about her husband is lies. How can she know what is true or not?
This victorian drama borders on being gothically spooky but never quite enters that space even though there are a couple of jumpy moments. The story takes place over a single day and in one single room. While this was very different from what I was expecting, I found the drama very compelling and the mystery did indeed keep me wondering what would happen until the very last second.
Gaslight offers a look into abusive relationships and particularly those where one person is trying to undermine the other.
Charlotte Emmerson‘s Bella is breathy and melodramatic as her character’s mania is consuming her. James Wilby is suitably unnerving and slimy, while Martin Shaw is clearly relishing in this role as Rough and delivers a solid performance.
The single room set is hugely distorted and seems to be about eight feet by twenty feet at one end opening up to the entire stage at the other. The walls and ceiling are see-through offering hints of what is happening elsewhere in this big old house.
Gaslight is quite different from the types of shows I expect to see at The Alexandra, it is dark and brooding with hints of uneasy truths.
Book tickets to see Gaslight, which at The Alexandra until 5th October using BrumHour’s affiliate link >>HERE<<.
Tour Dates continue at:
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford 7th to 12th October: yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/gaslight
Theatre Royal Bath 14th to 19th October: theatreroyal.org.uk/whats-on
New Theatre Peterborough 21st to 26th October newtheatre-peterborough.com/events/gaslight-2
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.